Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll walks the sideline in the second quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on November 13, 2016. The Seahawks defeated the Patriots 31-24. Photo by Matthew Healey/ UPI | License Photo
RENTON, Wash. -- While Justin Britt's absence with an ankle sprain certainly didn't help, it wasn't the sole reason for the Seattle Seahawks' massive struggles along the offensive line against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Seattle surrendered six sacks and quarterback Russell Wilson was hit 11 times as the Seahawks were unable to mount any consistent attack. Wilson passed for just 151 yards and was intercepted twice. They had just one net passing yard in the first half.
"They rushed the heck out of us," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "It wasn't anyone in particular at all, but they did a really nice job. We didn't protect like we needed to and they had six sacks.
"That's just crazy because we haven't been doing that at all. We have usually been on the other end of that and that's a real oddity for us. We got to get back to work and fix it."
Sixth-round rookie Joey Hunt started at center in place of Britt and had his hands full with Buccaneers tackle Gerald McCoy. However, left tackle George Fant struggled mightily with Noah Spence and right guard Germain Ifedi struggled against McCoy, Ryan Russell and Akeem Spence.
Seattle also made a switch at right tackle with Bradley Sowell replacing Garry Gilliam after the first series.
"Russell was running all over the place back there," Carroll said. "We need to be quicker with the ball and get it out and not let that be a factor. We didn't get on track with that really at any time in the game. We were just out of sync and it wasn't like we want to be."
Thomas Rawls wasn't much of a factor in the running game either. He managed just 38 yards on 12 carries.
The Seahawks had three turnovers. Jimmy Graham had a critical fumble with Seattle in field goal range along with Wilson's two interceptions, both of which came inside the Buccaneers' 20-yard line.
"Just one of those weird nights, just couldn't get it going out there. Just when I thought we were, all day something crazy would happen," Sowell said.
In totality, it was perhaps Seattle's worst offensive performance of the season.
"I'm just disappointed we came out this way and played like that. We didn't play anywhere near like we thought we would," Carroll said.
The question moving forward is this: Was the performance an aberration or is it one that should elaborate greater concern?
Seattle had just come off two of their best offensive performances of the season against New England and Philadelphia. While the Seahawks are still in comfortable position in the playoff picture, they cannot play that poorly up front and expect to accomplish much in January.
"We got to get back right," Carroll said. "We'll go right back to work. We got a big finish coming up on this season. The main thing was to admit that this was not the way we want to play. We'll turn our focus on the way home when we talk about getting ready for next week."